The mid range camcorder market is as busy at the top and bottom end with all manufacturers wanting you to choose them over anyone else. The JVC Everio GZ-MG630 is no exception and makes its appearance at the low mid range end, so this really is just a step up for those who want to avoid buying right at the bottom of the market. This model will set you back about $500 which isn’t too bad, so what do you get for your money and should you choose this camcorder for you? We have road tested the unit and our results are in. We hope it helps you decide one way or the other.
Like all manufacturers JVC has its only signature styling and the JVC Everio GZ-MG630 follows that to a ‘T’. This is another silver plus color shell, and we have seen blue, silver and we assume black is out there. Silver on silver is the most stylish and least primary looking, but we don’t dislike the look. This is slightly bigger that it’s nearest stable mate the MS120, but still a good size mini camcorder that is easy to hold with one hand and has the controls logically placed so you can reach them with ease whilst filming. It has a standard layout with the flip out screen on the left hand side, and the hand strap on the right. No real issues here, just a minor comment. We wish JVC would provide stronger, less flimsy hand straps. In the box with the camcorder is the power charger lead, a USB lead and an infrared remote control, which is all pretty standard stuff. Overall we like the look but are not bowled away by it.
Actual user review:
“I had read nothing but positive user reviews on another website and then read the negative ones on Amazon regarding the bundled software only working on systems with Vista. The camera itself had had such great reviews, and it was a great price, so I decided to buy it last week so I could film my son’s school performance. The camera did an awesome job in a darkened auditorium — the video was nice and clear, there was minimal distortion when zooming in, and the audio was clear and at a good level as well. Afterwards, I installed the software on my Windows XP computer, hooked up the camera via USB, and was able to easily transfer the video to my computer. Playback was extremely clear! While I did have trouble with upload fails trying to get it to YouTube using the MediaBrowser software, I was able to upload from YouTube without a problem. I just fell compelled to write and let other readers know that the camera and software DO work with XP — no problem at all. I’m very happy with this camera!” – D.Johnson (CA,USA)
In terms of video performance the JVC Everio GZ-MG630 does what you would expect. It won’t set the world on fire but it is perfectly acceptable for home videos and you will be left with a decent recording that you can treasure forever. What makes this one so much more expensive than the MS120 is its 60GB internal storage, which also explains the slight size difference too, and should this not be enough there is an SD slot so you can expand the memory further.
The tech spec is also slightly superior. This has more shooting modes, from snow, sports and night to twilight and portrait mode. The lens is a Konica Minolta lens and has the standard 35x digital zoom which we know to be good enough to get a wide range of shots even if you cannot get too close to your subject.
For a mid range camcorder the JVC Everio GZ-MG630 is not a bad piece of kit. We like the internal storage capability as this is always useful, but it is worth noting that JVC are not the top of the list for manufacturer quality. If you go with this camcorder, you are getting a substantial piece of kit that does what it should albeit without real flair or panache. It will make good home movies, so if that’s all you need then go for it.
Average User Rating:
- “The best thing abot this camera has been the image stabilization. I compared it to similar makes by Sony and Panasonic in Best Buy. They both had better zoom but their image stabilization were not up to par. For someone who plans to have the camera in their hands and not on a tripod this is going to work better for you. But if you plan on having it on a tripod and would rather have the Huge zoom, go with the Sony or Panasonic. I read a lot of reviews about the JVC, Panasonic and Sony cameras and read positive and negative reviews about each. The biggest problem I read about the JVC was how it performed in low-light situations. I’m not sure if people expect night-vision but I used it in my living room one evening with incandescent bulbs and the picture was clear and maybe a little brighter than it actually had been in the room. I’ve had NO problems with this camera thus far and I hope it continues. It is very easy to use and produces good video and images.” – J.C.McCormick (USA)
- “I bought this camera after comparing many customer reviews of this and competing products. The reviews of this camera were consistently high, and I must say that mine is no different. I am really enjoying using this camera so far. I have had it for only a month, and everything is working as advertised. Even the included software loaded onto my Vista operating system (Gateway laptop) without a problem and appears to be working perfectly. The video is pretty crisp for a non-HD machine and I am happy with the sound. The best thing about these hard drive-equipped machines is that there is no card to change and the 60 gig drive on mine seems to be plenty big, even for long vacations. At “ultra” quality, I get almost 15 hours of recording time! I have taken a lot of video footage so far, and still have plenty of space left for more. I would highly recommend this camera.” – C.R.Weinberg (DC,USA)
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